Why there is a great need for Cha-cha
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - December 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Just when we thought our chances of having a genuine political change has slipped our hands, we learned that at least 256 local chief executives have expressed their support for the government initiative of amending provisions of the 1987 Constitution, as noted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the local chief executives are from 60 provinces in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and Cordillera Administrative Region. Come now, that’s a huge chunk of the Philippine Islands! So let’s go for it!!

We gathered that among the officials who expressed their support for constitutional amendments are seven governors, 11 vice governors and at least 105 mayors. The rest are vice mayors and other local officials.

Aside from local officials, the DILG and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Constitutional Reform (Task Force CORE) have obtained 22,469 signatures of support from various citizens since they have re-launch their roadshow campaign last month.

Undersecretary Malaya hopes this pledge of support from various local officials and citizens would convince lawmakers from the Senate and the House of Representatives on the need to amend the Constitution. This means that such a proposal would be tackled early next year in Congress.

What I find very interesting and intriguing are the proposals submitted to the House were the provisions to strengthen political parties, the prohibition of turncoats, the execution of the anti-political dynasty provision as mandated by the Constitution and the extension of the terms of local government officials to five years with one reelection. For 30 years since we had the 1987 Cory Constitution approved, the political situation in the Philippines has become confusing in the sense that we have a parliamentary form of political parties running in Congress, but retain our presidential system.

At this point, I exhort the proposal that the election of the president and vice-president should be as one like they do in the United States so we don’t have a vice-president like Leni Robredo waging a word war against the President in order to topple his administration. This was one huge blunder done by the people who created the Cory Constitution.

Then finally let us put an end to political turncoatism by preventing politicians who shift to another political party from running in the next two elections. We are not stopping them from moving out of their political party, but we should prohibit them from running in the next two elections in the new political party that they have moved into! This is one way to totally stop this very ugly practice of turncoatism.

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Something positive is happening in the House of Representatives when the House ways and means committee approved a bill seeking to tax single-use plastic bags. Apparently the panel chaired by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda voted to pass on first reading House Bill [HB] 178, which seeks to impose a P20 tax per kilogram of plastic bags. While it did not put an end to single use plastic bags, I would like to believe that the tax might discourage companies from using single use plastic on their products for sale to the public.

Aside from the short- and long-term consequences of plastics on the environment and on the health of humans and animals alike, the mass consumption of plastics in the Philippine further magnifies the flooding problem that Filipinos experience, especially during the typhoon season. It is time to urge companies that use single use plastic like Coffee ingredients, soap, toothpaste and many other items to shift into a more environment friendly products that degrade in our landfills.

The panel modified the amount of tax originally proposed in the bill, which were 10 per piece of plastic bag produced in factories or released from import warehouses. This measure was authored by Reps. Horacio Suansing Jr. of Sultan Kudarat and Estrellita Suansing of Nueva Ecija.

As House Bill [HB] 178, noted, the panel modified the amount of tax originally proposed in the bill, which were 10 per piece of plastic bag produced in factories or released from import warehouses. Aside from the short- and long-term consequences of plastics on the environment and on the health of humans and animals alike, the mass consumption of plastics in the Philippine further magnifies the flooding problem that Filipinos experience, especially during the typhoon season.”

We hope that such a bill would exhort the current users of single use plastic to shift into a more environmentally friendly pouch. Splenda for instance which is a replacement for sugar uses a paper package. We hope that soon Coffee mate would follow suit and perhaps we would reduce the plastic waste we throw into the sea that is eaten by marine life.

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Email : vsbobita@gmail.com.

 

DILG JONATHAN MALAYA
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